Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Women in the Bible - Quiet Book

So . . . I was cleaning out some drawers not to long ago and I came across this little gem.

It's the very first quiet book I ever made.  I can't believe I had completely forgotten about it!  When I was in college I took a course from Camille Fronk Olsen called Women in Scripture (I know, I know--if you know Camille then you're pretty jealous of me :)  She is an amazing teacher and it was an amazing class.  I learned so much.  A large portion of our grade in the class was determined by a big semester project of our choosing having to do with women in scripture.  I chose to make a quiet book for children teaching about these amazing women.  Looking back I find my choice funny.  I must really have some sort of crazy love for quiet books.

The book includes verses directly from the scriptures along with a picture/activity page.  Having studied child development I tried to include all that fun sensory stuff for kids.  I also did a lot of research into the verses I included in the book and made a guide for parents so they could help their children better understand some of the unfamiliar parts of the scripture.  For example on the page about Miriam it says in Exodus 2:3, "And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with a pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the rivers brink."

My parents guide explains: The precise form of this little "ark" is unknown. It may have been a basket, a boat, or a box.  It was made of leaf of the papyrus, a reedy plant which grew plentifully on the banks of the Nile, and which was used by the Egyptians for cordage, baskets, boats, sails, writing material, and a variety of other purposes; even sometimes food.  The "slime" . . . though melting easily and running freely, when cold it is very brittle; but if mixes with tar it becomes tenacious when set, and makes firm cement.  In preparing the little vessel for the reception of the infant Moses, it is probable that the papyrus leaves were first plaited together, and then coated with a mixture of hot bitumen and tar, which when cold became firm and water-proof. 

Interesting, huh?  Yeah, this little guide is full of interesting facts and tid-bits.  It's such a little treasure to go along with my quiet book.  

Moving on . . .

So to be honest I'm kind of embarrassed of this book.  The idea and the research I put into it are fabulous--but the art and construction of it . . . it's not  . . . perfect.  I was a poor college student and had super limited supplies (and time).  It really was quite painful to my budget to have to go out and buy all those brushes and different colors of paint.  I still have to remind myself that no little kid is really going to care.  My kids love this book and have so much fun learning the scripture stories as they play with the pages.  In fact this post has taken me forever to write up because each time they see me working on it they are reminded of this little quiet book and they want me to read it with them.

Regardless of what a little child might think though I'm still hesitant to share it here . . . but I'm going to anyway.  I hope it will inspire someone to make something 10 times better than mine, and more importantly help their children develop a love for the scriptures and the lessons that we can learn there . . . and fortunately these small picture hide so many of my many flaws.

So . . . here goes nothing.  Don't laugh.  OK?  :)

First off is my little cover page.  All the text in my book was done by typing it up on the computer and then printing it out onto Pellon Peltex sheets through my printer.  Printing onto the Pellon mutes the text quite a bit.  I used black ink but you can see it comes out looking more gray.

The apples are felt and removable with velcro.  There is also velcro in Adam and Eve's hands so they can hold the apple.

On this page the fuzzy sheep can be moved around to different velcro spots on the page.

Here's Moses floating in his reed basket on the "ric-rac" water.  The basket opens and Moses is removable.  I just have to say pellon is really a pain to paint--especially with cheap brushes. I tried to take a short cut and used a permanent marker to do some of the coloring.  You can see on the opposite page that over time some of the green marker has bled over.  I'm a little sad about that . . . but what are ya gonna do?

Here is the page with the basket closed.

On this page Ruth's arm is movable with a brad.  Her hand is holding a string that the stalks of wheat can be strung onto.  The stalks of wheat are held a in pocket that looks like a bundle of wheat.

The Widow of Zarephath
On this page the barrel can be seen with a small amount of meal on the bottom.  Then as you tell the story the child can unbutton the barrel and turn it over . . .

to show the jar full.

Esters hair can be braided and tied with the ribbons.

Baby Jesus and the little land can be removed and placed on the page with velcro.

The Woman with the Alabaster Box
On this page the woman's hair is made of string that can be used to clean/wipe the Savior's feet.

So as you can see this book is a great teaching tool and has become a real treasure.  I hope it inspires you to create a fun teaching tool for your children.

Looking for more quiet book ideas?  Check out my other quiet book patterns below.

My Original Quiet Book 

Quiet Book Game Series

and my book

Quiet Book Patterns

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How to Make Giant Bubbles + World's Best Bubble Recipe

Its seems the rest of the country has started back to school but my kids don't start until next week.  We've had such a fun summer together so I'm a little sad to have them starting school again (okay, lets be honest, super sad).  My kids are at an age where they play so nicely together for hours on end.  It's so fun to see them be such good friends.  I had a whole list of boredom busters to keep them busy this summer but with my kids entertaining each other we hardly touched the list.  But that's the way it should be, isn't it?  Good old fashioned imaginative play, outdoors, and fresh air.

A favorite activity that we did enjoy several times though was making giant bubbles.  After a disappointing morning of swimming lessons being canceled last minute we headed over to the library and were fortunate to catch a show from The Bubble Man.  It's amazing the things you can do with some soapy solution and air.  My kids loved it!  The Bubble Man was nice enough to share his bubble recipe and my kids were anxious to try it.  We created all kinds of bubble wands to try out in our solution but the giant bubbles were definitely a favorite.

Just a couple of dowels, some thin rope, and a washer and we were ready to go.





To make the bubble wands I picked up a bag of dowels at the craft store and screwed an eyelet into the top of each one.

I then tied about an 18 inch piece across the top and then a second longer piece (about 3 feet) as well.  There's also a washer strung through the second piece to weigh it down a bit.  Can you see it at the bottom of the rope hiding in the grass?   The first time I made the bubble wands I used yarn, which worked great . . . until it turned into a big tangled mess.  I decided to invest in some thin rope which worked so much better for avoiding tangles.  Don't worry that much about the length of the rope.  It doesn't matter too much.  Just make sure there's a shorter piece at the top and a longer one underneath.

Here's a few more big ones!

So much fun!

And here's the famous bubble recipe.  Simply mix the three ingredients together and you're ready for some serious bubble fun!  (Glycerin can be found at any pharmacy.  I got ours in the pharmacy section of our local grocery store.)

Have fun!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Eraser Stamped Batman Shirt

Not to long ago I spied some t-shirts at the dollar store.  They had all kinds of sizes and colors so I grabbed a few knowing that decorating them would make a fun and inexpensive activity to do with my kids.  We used some of the shirts to make these festive patriotic shirts for the Fourth of July.  With the extras each of my children got to decide how they wanted to decorate their own shirt.

My super hero loving three year old decided that he wanted a batman shirt so batman it was!

He was super excited to wear his new shirt despite the long sleeves and the hot humid weather.

He was sure to wear what he calls his mean batman face as I snapped a few picture.  I just love this spunky and silly little boy!

Now that he has his mask, cape, and new shirt he's ready to go fight crime.  I found the batman mask on Amazon a few years ago for only $5 and the cape was another dollar store find.

I love how simple, fun, and fast these eraser stamped shirts are to make.

First things first--I washed the shirt.  This is always a good idea so it can preshrink.  It also washes away any chemicals on the fabric from manufacturing which may prevent the paint from being permanent.

To start out I traced and cut out the batman logo from freezer paper.  I then placed the shinny side of the logo onto the fabric and ironed it on using a medium setting.  Be sure to focus on the edges and points of the logo.  Iron for about 30 seconds to a minute.  The first time I used freezer paper for a project I applied a lot of heat and and lot of pressure and I couldn't get the freezer paper to come off of my fabric when I was done. I ruined my project.  Less is more here, but at the same time you want to make sure the paper is completely ironed on so no paint seeps under.

I then mixed in some textile medium to my black paint and used a new pencil eraser to stamp.  Be sure to place cardboard, wax paper, or freezer paper inside your shirt before you start stamping so the paint doesn't soak through to the back.  You really can't go wrong with the design.  I concentrated the dots more around the logo and then spaced them out as I got further away from it.

Once the paint drys you can peel away the freezer paper and your shirt is done!

Want more eraser stamped t-shirt ideas?  See the patriotic shirts we made here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Child Whisperer + A Giveaway! ***Giveaway Closed***

It's funny how the smallest everyday occurrences can make a big influence in your life.  For example, one time I happened to attend my church's book club, which I don't do very often, and a friend mentioned that her children were taking some very affordable private swimming lessons.  I signed my kids right up and it was such a blessing to help my very timid swimmers. I was so glad I went to book club that night or I would have never known about the lessons!

And another time, years ago, a friend of mine asked me if I had ever made a quiet book and that I should.  I had never wanted to take on such a big project but her little comment started churning ideas in my head of quiet book pages and before I knew it I was drawing up patterns and sewing quiet book pages.  Of course I wanted to share my completed project here, which later led to being contacted by a publishing company and publishing my book Quiet Book Patterns.

And then one time I happened to be on Facebook and saw my cousin mention a book called The Child Whisperer.  It sounded interesting so I picked up a copy from the library.  After reading the first chapter or two I decided this was a book I was going to want to keep, highlight, and reference so I bought myself a copy.  It was worth every penny.  This book has changed my life!

Carol Tuttle's book isn't like any other parenting book you've read before.  Other parenting books usually say if your child does A then you do B, but Carol instead explains that if we understand the true natures of our children and then parent to their natures our children will be happier and more cooperative.

We can discover the true natures of our children through energy profiling, which Carol explains in her book.  I have found energy profiling so interesting.  I have four children and somehow ended up with each of the energy types.  I have a serious child, sensitive child, determined child and fun-loving child. My first two kids are the serious child and the sensitive child.  Their energies are still.  You can imagine my surprise when my third child was born as a type three determined child.  He stomped around, was loud, and had a lot of energy.  I was exhausted and wasn't sure where I had gone wrong with him.  This was the point in my life when I picked up The Child Whisperer.  As I read about type three determined children I could hardly believe that Carol was describing my child exactly!  I quickly realized that there wasn't anything wrong with my high energy, active, and determined child.  He just had a type three personality.

I understand my son so much better now and in turn can parent him much better.  I realized he needed more opportunities to get his energy out and he needed chances to complete big tasks and be kept busy doing constructive projects.  Now I know when I need a big project done like raking the yard, or cleaning up stacks of dishes he is the child to ask.  He loves big projects, which is true of type three children. As I continued to read about each energy type, Carol continued to describe each of my children exactly.  This lady really is amazing! 

Since finishing The Child Whisperer I have learned so much about each of my children, about myself, about my friends, and even acquaintances.  I love how I simply understand people now and why they do things a certain way or act a certain way.  I am a much better person and a much more patient person!

If you are struggling to connect with your children in any way I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Child Whisperer.  I also have TWO copies of The Child Whisperer to give away today!

To enter to win simply leave a comment telling me what you love most about being a mother or father.

And because I want to get the word out about The Child Whisperer so it can help as many parents as possible you can earn a second entry by pinning this post on Pinterest OR sharing this giveaway on Facebook/Twitter and then leave a separate comment telling me you did.

Giveaway ends August 20, 2015.

Good luck!


And the winners are . . . pulled numbers 31 and 6. Congratulations Jenni and Kortney!  I will be contacting you shortly with the details.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Healthy Dark Chocolate Fudgesicles

Our summers here are hot, sweaty and sticky.  Yuck!  That's one thing this California raised girl dislikes most about the mid-west -- humidity!  I depend heavily on cool treats to help me get through the hot summers.  These dark chocolate fudgesicles have become one of my favorites.  We make a lot of homemade popsicles and I've found a lot of them turn out icy.  The secret ingredient to keeping these popsicles smooth and soft is gelatin!  It's amazing the difference a little gelatin can make.  Go ahead and give these a try.  I just know you'll the the rich chocolaty flavor and the smooth creamy texture.

Dark Chocolate Fudgesicles
(adapted from this recipe)

1 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
2 egg yolk
1/2 cup honey
dash of Real Salt
1 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (I use this kind)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped

1. Soften the gelatin by placing it in a small bowl with the vanilla.

2. Warm the coconut milk in a pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stir occasionally and do not let boil.  Meanwhile mix the egg yolk, honey, and salt in a small bowl.  Slowly poor the hot coconut milk into the egg mixture, mixing continuously to temper the eggs.

3. Pour the mixture back into the pot and continue to cook on medium heat for about five minutes, stirring constantly.  Do not allow the mixture to boil.

4.  Pour the gelatin mixture into the pot and whisk vigorously until the gelatin has dissolved, about two minutes.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until melted and smooth.  Let pudding cool at room temperature about 20 minutes and then pour into molds.  Place in freezer for up to six hours or until firm.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Stick People

I was recently working on some different projects in my guest room/craft room when in wandered my youngest son who is 3 1/2.  As we chatted I realized that it had been an awful long time since I'd done a craft with him.  This year has been non-stop and with kindergarten pick-up midday and a new baby in the house which just hadn't left a lot of time (or energy) for fun stuff.  I began to feel a little sad that the two of us hadn't done as many crafts as I did with his older brothers.  So right then and there I opened up a drawer with all sorts of craft supplies and we began.  No planning or prep.  Nothing thought of in advance.  We just started pulling out supplies and came up with something on the spot.  We had a great time!

We ended up making some little stick puppets.  We used popsicle sticks, googly eyes, tissue paper, construction paper, pipe cleaners, yarn, markers, and a little organza bag!  

My son was so proud of these little puppets.  He showed them to anyone who would look and listen to him. I guess what I learned is that you don't need a grand idea or even a ton of awesome supplies--just start creating and let your imagination run wild!  Your children will thank you!

Monday, June 29, 2015

General Conference Quote Board

I've written several posts in the past about engaging your children during General Conference and preparing them beforehand.  About a month ago a friend of mine, Kensie of Kensie M Photography, shared a way that she keeps the messages from conference hanging around the house--literally.  

Honestly, this one of the quicker projects I've done in a while!    First, I gathered a good collection of quotes from this past General Conference and pinned them.  You can find them all on my Conference Board on Pinterest.  Next, I saved them and cropped them to be 6 x 8.  (My frame was 36 x 24 so this allowed me to have 18 total quotes in my frame.)  After printing them on cardstock I arranged them--and then rearranged a few times--until I was satisfied.  I then flipped the quotes over into the frame and taped them together with masking tape.  

I've seen my boys reading them as they head downstairs and it makes my heart happy to know that they are continuing to internalize the wonderful messages we have been taught.  I love to have a visual reminder of those words hanging in my home. 

And just for you I'm sharing a printable I created with one of my favorite quotes.  Enjoy!